Archive for the 'Teacher Education' Category

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Ari Williamson

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Ari Williamson, one of our current juniors studying secondary education and history!

Ari L Williamson PhotoI grew up on the west side of Chicago, more specifically in the Austin community, and I have lived in Milwaukee since the July 2017 (when I started Marquette University). My mother is a single mother. I live with my mom and sister.

My favorite educational experience is the in-class discussions in my education courses talking about learning theories theorized by men and women. I hope that one day I can come up with a theory of my own that will be used in college/university classrooms. I chose Marquette and the College of Education because a friend of mine, Alex Johnson, was an education major. Based on the good things she said about the college, I was interested.

Outside of the classroom, I like to play basketball and do photography. To me, it means freedom. It means self-expression. Where I come from, shame played a big part in our everyday lives and it inhibited my growth. Being self-expressive is one of the main reasons why I want to become a teacher

I’m figuring out who I am as a teacher. I want to be great, so I need to do a lot of self-reflection. I’m inspired by a lot of people. But, I really admire comedian George Carlin, Lena Waithe and Jay-Z. These are people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and I respect that. Being courageous may be scary but it is the ONLY way.


Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Juwonna Walker

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Juwonna, one of our undergraduates!

UnknownHi, my name is Juwonna Walker. I grew up on the North and East side of Milwaukee, for the majority of my life. I have also lived in Texas, Minnesota and Tennessee. I currently work, play, and live right here in Milwaukee. I have a huge family from many different states. I have six siblings on my mom’s side, and two siblings on my dad’s side. I am the oldest of all my siblings, and they are a variety of ages. It is never a dull moment in my family, because there is so many different personalities.

I work for the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as a Victim/Witness Clerical Assistant. I like having the opportunity to work there because I interact with so many amazing staff members and have the opportunity to gain experience for my future career in social work.

My favorite educational experience is participating in field placements. I have been working with children for many years now in various positions and communities. Field placements give pre-service teachers the opportunity to get teaching experience, interact with students, and develop and learn pedagogies for our own classes. The most exciting opportunity I had this semester is being able to draft my own math mini lessons to work with one-on-one with a middle school student.

I transferred to Marquette from another local university in 2018. I chose Marquette because I wanted to Be the Difference for black and brown children in urban schools. I felt at Marquette I could receive the best education to adequately prepare me to teach in Wisconsin schools. I have always majored in elementary education because I love working with and learning from students in 3rd-8th grade.

When I am outside of the classroom I am volunteering as a Big Sister for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I have been a Big since my first semester at Marquette, after being a participant in SERVE. When I’m not doing that, I am attending cultural and social justice events on campus, to learn more about how I can be an active member in change. I also run track and field as a sprinter, my events are 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x200m, hurdles, and long jump.

The inspiration for my work is seeing children that come from where I come from, speak the way I speak, and look the way I look to have opportunities to do great things. When I look at black and brown children, I see inventors, scientists, artists, and people that are capable of amazing things. So, I want to be a person who advocates and assist children accomplish their dreams.

Want to learn more about the College of Education and our students? Visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to continue the conversation!

Alumna Carrie Hanson Named 2020 Herb Kohl Teaching Fellow

hansonCarrie Hanson, ‘Ed 14 and a social studies teacher at West Allis Central High School, has been named a 2020 Herb Kohl Teaching Fellow. The Kohl Teacher Fellowship “recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin.” Each year, 100 fellowship recipients and their schools each receive a $6,000 grant to help them pursue professional development or realize goals for their classrooms.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity and owe my gratitude to the many mentors who have guided me along my teaching path. So many of my first mentors were the educators I worked with at Marquette who helped me to see the bigger picture of teaching, which extends so much further than the walls of my classroom. To be intentional in my interactions with my students and my community, to give freely of my heart, to see the dignity in people even if they might not see it in themselves, those are some of the things that I think about when I try to reflect on what I learned at Marquette.”

Congratulations, Carrie!

On Professionalism, Social Media and Privacy

By Kathryn Rochford

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and that you’ve started the semester off strong! It’s going to be a busy one, but I hope it treats us all well.

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about an experience I had last semester that today is growing increasingly more relevant. This experience relates to the theme of professionalism, social media, and the issue of privacy.

Last semester I was blessed to spend my field experience at Marquette University High School, an all-boys, Catholic high school. I learned so much about teaching styles, classroom management and the importance of relationships with students. However, being one of the two females in the classroom (the other being my coordinating teacher), there were some instances of awkwardness. The main one I want to focus on is when I was casually scrolling through Instagram, and I got a notification of a new follower request. I clicked on the notification to see who it was and, with sudden dread, I realized it was one of the students in the classroom I observed.

A million thoughts seemed to flood through my head. How did he find my Instagram when I’ve never told the students my first name? Why did this specific student follow me if it’s not a student I regularly held conversations with? Do I mention the topic with the student? With my coordinating teacher? Do I make a class announcement about the importance of privacy and the separation that needs to be maintained between students and teachers online?

After careful consideration, and plenty of frazzled conversations with my teacher friends and non-teacher friends alike, I decided to bring it up to my coordinating teacher. She laughed for a bit and said she was surprised that specific student followed me, since again, he never talked to me much. She shared stories of how this has happened before to other observing students she’s had and the issues it had caused them. She recommended I leave it unanswered, since I didn’t want him to see I rejected the request and then keep requesting to follow me. I decided I would follow that advice since it seemed like the easiest path.

Lately it feels as if we are warned more and more about what to put on our social media as potential employers can and will use your posts as a determining factor on whether to hire you. It never really occurred to me that my students, and possibly their parents, would be looking me up, too. It reminds me of a policy my teachers in high school had that even if we did friend request them, they wouldn’t accept the request until after we had graduated. In the case of my soccer coach/ history teacher, he used to tag my mom in photos of me so I could still see the posts.

I thanked God I had my profile set to private not public, and that even then I am careful with what I post. If I had one recommendation for new education students, it’s to set your profile to private so people must request to follow you and to still limit what you post. Your future students don’t need to see pictures of you at parties in college or drunk at a bar on your 21st.

This new idea of professionalism in the workplace may be a bit hard to get used to. It’s hard to see so many other college students freely posting and saying what they want to on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. They can post some of the fun memories we have with them that may be NSFW. I’m sure this part of adulting and learning what should be shared and what shouldn’t be is hard for everyone when they hit that point, but the issue for us as education majors is that transition happens as you are trying to figure out what college is and who you are as an adult. However, this idea of professionalism carries a different weight with it when you are an education major, especially one here at Marquette. Here at MU, we are blessed to enter the professional world a bit earlier than most, with opportunities for service-learning beginning freshman year.

So, while this may be a more serious topic than I usually post, I feel it is especially relevant as we move into times where our students could be trying to find our social media. Overall, social media can be a wonderful tool to connect us, to bring us to the latest ideas, and to share aspects of our lives. Yet when it comes to our lives as educators, it’s time to switch into private mode. Hopefully a few of you can learn from my story and won’t have to have an awkward interaction like that. If you do have something like this happen in the future, I hope you can face it head on, without the minutes of panic I seemed to have.

Week 7: The End

Laine Dolan, an elementary education and communications studies student in the College of Education is spending part of her student teaching semester abroad. She is teaching at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is blogging about her experience. This post originally appeared on Laine’s own blog

p121The time has finally come: the last week of student teaching in New Zealand is over. However, here is a recap of the final week of this incredible experience!

My class had been working hard at their play of The Rainbow Fish and finally got to perform it for some other classes on Monday. The costumes turned out adorable and the students read their lines very well! I think I might have a few future Broadway stars in my class.

The last week of school we also had a water day where the kids enjoyed soaking me with squirt guns and a huge slip ‘n slide was set up on a hill. Another student teacher and I may have enjoyed the slip ‘n slide more than our students! My class also created their own jandals (sandals) after we read the story Crocodiles Christmas Jandals. I also continued to share my passion of lacrosse with my kiddos as we had some chances to practice their skills more. Finally we ended the week with some well earned ice blocks (popsicles).

Oh! Don’t let me forget about the final assembly! There were awards, each year level sang songs, and most importantly… the American teachers put together a little something for the school. We also were lucky enough to be pulled on stage with the Pacifico group to try to learn their cultural dance moves. It is a Pacifico tradition to bring people into their culture by having them try the dance with them. It was quite the surprise to us to be pulled on stage again but we did our best!

It’s the people that really make the most impact on experiences in life. I am so grateful to have been places with Janet these past seven weeks. She has been so fun to work with and has helped me grow as a teacher in so many ways. On our final day, after the bell rang and school ended, all of us American student teachers headed to Bethells beach for one last afternoon hangout.


I am so thankful for each and every person that I met while student teaching in New Zealand. There were countless people that went out of their way to make us all feel welcome. Lisa (a teacher at Swanson) hiked and got burgers with us the first weekend. Mike (a teacher) dedicated so much time to help us make traditional Maori bone carving necklaces. Hazel (a teacher and host of Sarah) took us hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. Matt (a teacher) took us surfing. These are just a few of the numerous people that made this trip so special.

Most of all I am thankful for the girls asleep on the beach above. I could not have asked for a better group of girls to be stuck with every day for the past seven weeks. Sarah, Alee, Erin, Maddy, and I made so many memories this trip that I will never forget. I’m lucky to have four new best friends! See you all at St. Norbert College when I visit soon!

Thanks for following my blog!

The End.

The Final Hui and Growing the Game

Laine Dolan, an elementary education and communications studies student in the College of Education is spending part of her student teaching semester abroad. She is teaching at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is blogging about her experience. This post originally appeared on Laine’s own blog

p141_origThis second-to-last week of the school year was filled with a lot of learning and fun. We have been working this entire term on passion projects. Each child was able to choose their passion that they wanted to create a project on. Passions ranged from baking and horses to robots and Minecraft. Each of the students had to pick a topic, create questions about the topic and find answers to some of their questions. They then created a poster and presented to the class their passion.

Knowing before I got to New Zealand that the students would be doing passions projects, I was able to gather a few things to bring to share my passion to the class. My passion is lacrosse, and this past week I was able to share it with my class and grow the game of lacrosse all the way to New Zealand. Although lacrosse does exist in New Zealand and they do have a national team, it is very rare to play and few people know the game. I gave my students a presentation on my passion and explained the game of lacrosse to them and my involvement in the sport. It was really exciting because the students were extremely engaged. I had not seen them sit so still and listen so well on the mat until that moment. Since I knew that students at Swanson would not know the game of lacrosse, I brought a little set with me. This set included a few sticks, goalie stick, ball and net. After explaining in my presentation all about boys and girls lacrosse, I was able to take students outside in small groups to teach them a little lacrosse. They all had a blast learning the new sport and asked every day after if we could play again. I absolutely loved sharing my passion with these kids and hope that some will continue to play after I leave.

Along with our passions projects we completed some missions in maths! Yes I said MATHS and not math because that’s what they call it here. Another highlight of the week (and, really, my entire trip) was going to the final Hui! Students from the kaphaka group sang Maori songs and performed traditional Maori dances, including the Haka, which is a war dance. This was one of the greatest experiences ever. Six weeks down and only one more week to go!


Every Country Should Have Thanksgiving

Laine Dolan, an elementary education and communications studies student in the College of Education is spending part of her student teaching semester abroad. She is teaching at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is blogging about her experience. This post originally appeared on Laine’s own blog

p98“Every country should have Thanksgiving” said a random New Zealand lady at a rest stop on the side of the road, and I could not agree more. This woman had started up a conversation with the other American student teachers and me when we stopped for a quick break to take in some views on our drive back from a weekend trip. The friendly woman overheard us talking with our American accents and was quick to ask if we were from the States. She then started to express her love of the idea of Thanksgiving, and wished that she and every other country in the world celebrated it too. It was in this moment that I realized I had never appreciated thanksgiving enough.

Every year, as every other American does, I express what I’m thankful for around Thanksgiving. Usually it’s the typical things like family, friends, food and a house I am thankful for, but this Thanksgiving I am thankful for Thanksgiving. It really is amazing to think an entire country as big as the United States all stops on the last Thursday in November every year to be thankful. Students get off of school. Majority of adults get off of work. People travel home to their families. All to sit down and share a meal with your loved ones and give thanks.

The woman at the rest stop was not the only New Zealand person who mentioned to me that they love the idea of Thanksgiving and wished they celebrated. Multiple people throughout November mentioned to me how much they wish they celebrated. With each person who mentioned something I became more grateful that I am able to celebrate it every year in the States.

During the week of Thanksgiving in the States, I got to teach a lesson to my New Zealand students about Thanksgiving. I read a few Thanksgiving books that they loved, and they wrote about what they were thankful for and what they would do if they were a turkey on Thanksgiving. I of course also had them do the classic activity of creating turkeys using their hands for the feathers and feet for the body. It was so fun teaching kids who knew nothing about our holiday of Thanksgiving. It was also extremely interesting because New Zealand has a similar but different history than the United States. Like in the United States, native people (the Maori) were living in New Zealand before the English came to settle. Although they were different periods in time, the English in the United States and New Zealand were presented with the same situations but had handled it differently. The pilgrims in the United States forced the native Americans out of their land. In New Zealand, the English and the Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This treaty ultimately gave the Maori people power to continue to celebrate their culture and traditions. It led to more Maori culture being in the New Zealand curriculum and ultimately taught in every classroom in New Zealand. Although it is said the English people in New Zealand might not have had the best intentions with the treaty, it ultimately was what gave the Maori the power to get Maori culture integrated into New Zealand curriculum.

I enjoyed sharing the American holiday of Thanksgiving with my students in New Zealand this year, however, I think I will need to have a proper Thanksgiving meal when I get back to the states in the Spring. Thanksgiving without a turkey and stuffing is just not the same.

What is a Marquette Educator?

Follow us on Twitter